Kostaki Winery of Samos: A Master of Wine candidate, a meeting of cultures and the first bottling


29-year-old Efmorfia Kostakis created a new winery in Samos on a 32-acre vineyard.

Wine tradition continues on Samos, where wine is already indelibly associated with the island, but the younger generation bravely puts their own stamp on its evolution.

Kodeika (or Kontaiika) is a small settlement southeast of Karlovasi, in the centre of Samos.

"Call me on the phone as soon as you see the small church on your left so that I can come out and get you. Don't get lost," Evmorfia Kostaki tells me on the phone shortly before I stubbornly turn onto the dirt road and end up without her help at the brand-new winery.

The view from the concrete courtyard towards Lekka to the west and Karlovasi further north is crystal clear—many small villages, scattered vineyards and Mount Kerkis in the background, always dominant.

The Kostaki winery is the newest arrival in Samos's winemaking tradition. It emphasises the evolution of wine through the specialisation exclusively of one variety: the microrogus Moschato.

Not long has passed since the first bottling in the winery's history, and the building, inside and out, the polished tanks, and the empty of every element of decoration, even the office where we sit, immediately create the mood of respect and wishes for success.

Evmorfia Kostaki is only 29 years old, but her involvement with wine fills a resume that many would envy.

She grew up in Samos, where her contact with the vines from an early age was decisive. Her father, Ioannis Kostakis, owned and cultivated vines, and his presence in our conversation is accompanied by an expression of joy and silent satisfaction.

Evmorfia studied chemistry at the University of Athens and then went abroad to join Vinifera Euromaster and study viticulture and oenology.

Her studies took her to France, Italy, and California, where she wrote her thesis. She is

a candidate for the Master of Wine title, but her goal is to produce fine and pure wines. She is partnered with Lorenz Immerfall, a Bavarian from the Passau area, in this new venture. They met during their studies abroad. Now, Lorenz has been living in Samos for three years and even knows Greek.

We taste the wines of this first bottling of the year with gusto and, personally, with great curiosity, in an atmosphere of laughter and permanent teasing between the father-in-law and the son-in-law.

As I taste with the satisfaction that my personal involvement with wine allows me, I also learn the most practical information at the same time.

Evmorfia and Lorenz cultivate about 32 acres of vines at altitudes of approximately 100 to 200 metres in mainly clay soils here and in the Xylaki area. They grow organic grapes—the family's vineyards were the first to be certified organic on the island—and use sulphur and copper only where and when necessary.

Lorenz explains that their goal was to create wines with a low alcohol percentage and high acidity, which is easily confirmed when tasting them.

Tasting, shortly before leaving the estate, the rosé made from black muscat, a very interesting effort by Evmorfia, I come to the thought that the vineyard of Samos may have much more potential than what is known to date, and the fun and the constant search of Evmorfia and Lorenz for the creation of new wines, I suspect that, in a short time, will be known.

Niko Kokka is a columnist for Travel. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos

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